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HOOGTERP, John Albert

Born: 1892 12 27
Died: 1972 01 06

Architect

SACA:
Reg No: 577
Year registered: 1934

LRIBA 1911; FRIBA 1932

HOOGTERP was born in Johannesburg. His father, HOOGTERP, was from the Netherlands and worked in Romania with a Dutch firm constructing dock works; he proceeded with the same firm to South Africa in 1888, laying railway line from Lourenco Marques to Pretoria, employed by the Netherlands South African Railway Company (Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij or NZASM). In 1900, during the Anglo-Boer War, the family returned to the Netherlands where they lived at Aanderwyk near the Zuider Zee until 1900. HOOGTERP attended the Amersfoort Technical School in Amsterdam (1906-1909). He then worked for one Hardewyk before returning in 1909 to South Africa where he was employed as an architectural assistant to McINTOSH & MOFFAT in Johannesburg for about a year. He left McINTOSH & MOFFAT to work for GW NICOLAY before joining H BAKER in 1911. He remained in BAKER's office until 1913, involved on work on the Union Buildings. In 1913 he left for New York with a letter of recommendation from BAKER and worked for Ludlow & Peabody (1913/1914) until he enlisted for service in the First World War, serving in the army before joining the Royal Flying Corps in 1917/1918 as an observer and pilot (see Australian Society of WWI Aero Historians). After the war, in 1919, he returned to BAKER's office in London and in 1924 won a scholarship (not the BAKER Scholarship) for a year's study in Italy at the British School at Rome. At some point during 1925 he acted as unofficial chauffeur to BAKER: 'drove B and Lady B in a hired car all over Rome and environs as far as Viterbo' (HOOGTERP papers). HOOGTERP evidently impressed BAKER who sent him to supervise BAKER's work in Kenya. This resulted in HOOGTERP opening an office in Nairobi in 1925. At this time BAKER was advising the governor on certain buildings for Nairobi, among them the law courts 'which were completed by HOOGTERP, first my able assistant and then my representative' (BAKER 1944:111). In his FRIBA nomination papers (1932) HOOGTERP mentions that he was resident architect for the Secretariat and Legislative Assembly Buildings in Nairobi while working with BAKER. As BAKER's representative, HOOGTERP built up a fashionable practice in Kenya, becoming something of a society architect. His position with BAKER was formalised in a contract drawn up in January 1926 appointing HOOGTERP to work for BAKER as architect in January 1926; in the same month HOOGTERP wrote enthusiastically to BAKER, 'there is a wonderful spirit among South African architects, there is also a keeness both in the Transvaal and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) to work to a general South African style and to stretch hands across the gaps in the Highlands to you in Kenya' (HOOGTERP papers), suggesting that HOOGTERP had returned to South Africa before the contract was drawn up. He supervised a number of large buildings in and around Nairobi which included Government House, Nairobi; Government House in Mombasa (with BAKER's partner AT SCOTT with whom he also designed Parklands Church, Nairobi), five large schools in Kenya including Kabete Secondary School, the Elementary School, Nairobi and Nakuru School, the latter executed in 1926. Also in Nairobi, the Medical Research Laboratories, the Law Courts, Central Government Offices, Sir Robert Coryadon Memorial Hall, Maia Carberry Nursing Home, 'the new theatre', a large block of showrooms and offices and various houses. In 1932 he was elected a Fellow of the RIBA and in about 1934/1935 married Cockie, a socialite and former wife of Baron Blixen. About this time work in Kenya slowed down and in about 1935 HOOGTERP left for Johannesburg. He retained an interest in Kenya through his partnerships with LG JACKSON (cf HOOGTERP & JACKSON) and R RINALDI and returned to Kenya several times. In about 1932 HOOGTERP was involved in the plans for a new capital city for Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) at Lusaka where he was responsible for the design of Government House, Lusaka, mentioning that Walcott (one of BAKER's favourite perspectivists) 'did the perspectives for me of Government House, Lusaka, front and back - 6'x7'' (HOOGTERP papers) and that RINALDI also made the perspectives for Government House in Lusaka as well as for the staff flats there, the gymkhana club, the central offices (presumably government offices), Yodel House (Lusaka?/Nairobi?) and the British South Africa offices in Lusaka about 1936. In Johannesburg, HOOGTERP began to build up a practice and in 1935 was commissioned to design a house for H Oppenheimer, while in a letter dated 1935 to Dutton in Lusaka HOOGTERP mentions 'I am building a rather amusing California type house in Johannesburg at the moment ... £ 2,400' (HOOGTERP papers). He was appointed consulting architect for the British Empire Exhibition in Johannesburg (1936) where he was the architect of, among other things, 'a huge working model of the Victoria Falls complete with spray and "the smoke that thunders" '(AB&E Mar 1936:23). In 1939 he entered into partnership with R RINALDI in Johannesburg (cf HOOGTERP & RINALDI) and on the outbreak of the Second World War, worked in military intelligence, resigning in 1942 to join the South African Air Force and taking part in the Desert Campaign. Early in HOOGTERP's career he travelled to England with BAKER to work on the plans for New Delhi and was greatly impressed by Sir Edwin LUTYENS. So much so that H Panton-Jones, who by 1972 had worked in HOOGTERP's office for thirteen years, said of HOOGTERP that: 'his education was mainly in the classical style of LUTYENS, and he used this background, coupled with a fine sense of form and balance, to develop his own style' (The Star 7.1. 1972 obit). Not much is currently recorded of HOOGTERP's career in South Africa. In 1969 he was in partnership with RC JOLLIFFE in Johannesburg (cf HOOGTERP & JOLLIFFE). He died in Johannesburg.

Of interest. Cockie Hoogterp, who had been Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke’s second wife, his first being Karen of Out of Africa fame, had an obituary erroneously published in The Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper, in 1938 after the Baron's third wife died in a car accident. Mrs. Hoogterp sent all her bills back marked "Deceased" and survived her premature obituary by over 50 years.

(AB&E Jul 1934:8; AB&E Mar 1936:23; Baker 1944; FRIBA nom papers (1935) 3015; Fox 1984; Hoogterp papers, Jhb; ISAA mem list; LRIBA nom papers (1911) 3015; Pretoria News 6 Jan 1972 obit; The Star 7 Jan 1972 obit; SAAR Jul 1934:193; SAAR Jul 1946:182; SAB May 1937:49)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books citing HOOGTERP

Chipkin, Clive M. 1993. Johannesburg Style - Architecture & Society 1880s - 1960s. Cape Town: David Phillip. pp 108

Chipkin, Clive M. 2008. Johannesburg Transition - Architecture & Society 1950 - 2000. Johannesburg: STE Publishers. pp 63, 64, 66

ISAA. 1959. The Yearbook of the Institute of South African Architects and Chapter of SA Quantity Surveyors 1958-1959 : Die Jaarboek van die Instituut van Suid-Afrikaanse Argitekte en Tak van Suid-Afrikaanse Bourekenaars 1958-1959. Johannesburg: ISAA. pp 92, 186

ISAA. 1969. The Yearbook of the Institute of South African Architects and Chapter of SA Quantity Surveyors 1968-1969 : Die Jaarboek van die Instituut van Suid-Afrikaanse Argitekte en Tak van Suid-Afrikaanse Bourekenaars 1968-1969. Johannesburg: ISAA. pp 94, 120

van der Waal, Gerhard-Mark. 1987. From Mining Camp to Metropolis - The buildings of Johannesburg 1886-1940. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council. pp 234, 235